Wild At Life Project

From Captivity to Freedom: Rescuing Tigers from a Canned Hunting Farm

Activity status: Ongoing
Area of Activity: South Africa

Breeding big cats for commercial purposes like cub petting, roadside zoos, or trophy hunting perpetuates cruelty and suffering, and reduces them to mere objects of profit and entertainment. It incentivizes irresponsible breeding practices, inbreeding, and failing to prioritize animal welfare. Once these big cats outgrow their cuteness or become less profitable, they are often discarded, sold to substandard facilities, or even killed. This practice ignores the value and dignity of these amazing animals and uses them for human entertainment.

The cruel canned hunting industry in South Africa isn’t just limited to lions – tigers are also victims. With a price tag of $35,000 to $40,000 per animal, these majestic creatures are highly sought after. Since tigers are not native to Africa, they are only present on the continent through illegal trafficking and captive breeding.

In mid-April, the owner of a canned hunting farm contacted Wild at Life e.V. regarding two tigers that he no longer wished to keep.

Getting ready to sedate the tigers
Getting ready to sedate the tigers

Fortunately, the number of visitors to canned hunting farms in South Africa has decreased in recent years due to the pandemic and border restrictions. As tigers are the largest cat species in the world, no one hunting them meant that the farm owner had to bear the high expenses of feeding them. As a result, he decided to give the tigers away.

These tigers which were once nameless and probably only identified by numbers or “that one” are now called Lily and Luna. They are two majestic, full-grown female tigers flourishing in the safe haven of Bela Bela sanctuary, no longer at risk of being targeted by bullets or other forms of harm.

Reversing the sedation
Asli, the founder, with Lily & Luna

Because they are not native to Africa and thus, cannot be released into the wild, the financial responsibility to provide for them is now shouldered by Wild at Life e.V.

A frequently underestimated part of conservation efforts is what happens after the immediate rescue of an animal. Feeding, caring for, and otherwise sustaining the animals in a sanctuary like Bela Bela is equally important and unfortunately not cheap.

If you’d like to help us provide for Lily and Luna

so they can continue to have an enriched life with regular meals, please consider becoming an ongoing donor.

Thank you for your unwavering support!

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